Carne Asada Estilo Mexicano
Carne asada means grilled beef in Spanish. The king of cuts for making carne asada is arrachera, or skirt steak. It’s the taste that comes to mind when you think carne asada. Prepared well and it’s juicy and packed with beefy flavor that stands up well to a bold salsa.
Choose Your Cut of Meat
Our favorite cut of meat for carne asada is skirt steak. You can substitute any cut of beef that is suitable for grilling. Thin cuts are preferable if want authentic Mexican flavor. In Mexico, it is rare to be served a cut of beef that is much thicker than about 1/2″ unless you are at a fancy steakhouse.
Start With a Simple Marinade
When it comes to the carne asada marinade, keep it simple. You want to enhance the flavor of the beef not cover it up. The lime juice marinade adds a nice tang to the meat and the garlic brings out the beefy flavor.
Squeezing limes is easy if you have a lime squeezer. If you don’t have one, stick a fork into one half of a lime and the give it a good twist. This is much easier than trying to crush the lime with your fingers.
Marinade the meat in the refrigerator for 2 hours before grilling. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
Time to Grill
You always serve spring onions, cebollas cambray, with carne asada. If you don’t have any spring onions, whole grilled white, not yellow, onions are an acceptable substitute. Quarter them when you are ready to serve.
Move the onions to the side of the grill when you are ready to cook the meat. When they are done the onions will be burned on the outside but sweet and caramelized on the inside.
You want to place the meat over the hottest coals on the grill to properly cook the meat and to get the nicely charred exterior.
Pour the remaining marinade over the meat to help keep it juicy during cooking.
Turn the meat after about 7 or 8 minutes, even sooner if you have thinner cuts of meat. Be sure that the meat is nicely charred on one side before turning it.
Isn’t that a great looking piece of meat? Let the meat sit for a few minutes before serving so that it reabsorbs the juices. Cut into 4 pieces if you are going to serve it like a steak and cut into thin strips if you are going to serve it in tacos.
How to Serve
Serve each portion of carne asada with 4 corn or flour tortillas, 2 or 3 grilled spring onions, some smokey grilled tomato salsa or salsa verde and half a lime. Serve it as a steak or as tacos. In Cuernavaca, Morelos they serve this cucumber salad on the side.
As they say in Mexico, provecho!
Mexican Carne Asada Recipe
- 2 pounds skirt steak
- 10 limes
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large bunch of spring onions 8 to 12
- 16 corn or flour tortillas
- LIME GARLIC MARINADE
- Start with a small bowl
- Mince the garlic and add to the bowl
- Squeeze the juice from 8 limes into the bowl
- Add the salt and mix with a fork
- SKIRT STEAK
- Trim the meat of any excess silver membrane
- Place the skirt steak in a tray and pour half the marinade over it
- Flip the skirt and pour the other half of the marinade over it
- Let the meat marinade for 2 hours in the refrigerator
- Bring the meat to room temperature before grilling
- Once the meat is marinated, start the charcoal
- When the coals are at their hottest grill the meat for about 7 or 8 minutes on each side
- Rest the meat for a few minutes before serving
- SPRING ONIONS
- Once the coals are going place the spring onions on the grill.
- Move them to the side of the grill when your are ready to cook the meat.
- You can substitute any type of beef that is good for grilling. Preferably thinner cuts.